Journey with Meg Ryan to the jungles of Thailand in search of the white elephant, a rare creature coveted by royalty — and threatened by extinction.
To Americans, a white elephant is a metaphor for an encumbrance, a worthless possession. To the people of Thailand, a white elephant is a highly unusual creature to be venerated, one that, along with the darker-hued members of its species, is facing escalating threats to its survival. To the actress Meg Ryan, an encounter with one is the culmination of a lifelong dream. NATURE gets a rare glimpse of the unique pachyderm in The White Elephants of Thailand with Meg Ryan.
The film presents elephants in their everyday contact with the people of Thailand, whose treatment of them ranges from adoration to exploitation. At the same time, we see them through the eyes of an American movie star — as the larger-than-life, awe-inspiring embodiment of childhood dreams.
Online content for The White Elephants of Thailand with Meg Ryan was originally posted February 2002.
Production Credits Print
Presented and Narrated by
With Special Thanks to
HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF THAILAND
KHUN KEOKHWAN VAJARODAYA
KHUN ARSA SARASIN
THANPUYING BUTRI VIRAVAIDYA
M.L. PHIPHATANACHAT-RA DISKUL
SANGDUEN CHAILERT (LEK) ELEPHANT NATURE PARK
THAI ELEPHANT CONSERVATION CENTRE
THE ROYAL FORESTRY DEPARTMENT
WILDLIFE FUND THAILAND
MAESA ELEPHANT NURSERY
THE REGENT CHIANG MAI
ROLF VON BUEREN
JULIE SCHAPIRO THORMAN
Executive In Charge
A Co-production of Tigress and Thirteen/WNET New York
This program was produced by Thirteen/WNET New York, which is solely responsible for its content.
About the Writer
Sarah Birnbaum is an educational Web producer in New York.
Thirteen Online is a production of Thirteen/WNET New York’s Kravis Multimedia Education Center in New York City. Dan Goldman, Executive Director, thirteen.org. Bob Adleman, Business Manager.